Making Guilt Healthy

I’m not the kind of psychologist who thinks that people should try to avoid any feelings of guilt.

When we could do better, we should do better.

(That’s what classical psychoanalyst Carl Jung described as healthy guilt.)

But guilt is like fear:  essential for brief periods and paralyzing when chronic.

Long-lasting guilt about our deficiencies robs the opportunity for vigorous change.

Guilt, at best, is a brief slap in one’s own face – sharp enough to get our attention to the need to do better, but followed by a prod on the back in the right direction.

Once we correct our course, the prod is best followed by a pat on the back.

The regret for missed opportunities to be kind, to grow, or to help never really disappears.

The guilt becomes a shadow along the path, gently aching but giving meaning to the brightly shining change in your life’s course.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2022 at 1:09 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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